Page images

are conformable with thofe of the other Doctors of his Church, who teach that their Church is nothing but ours, reform'd; which this Gentleman explains by the Comparisons of a dirty Face washid, amuddy River cleans'd, and a sick Man beald. But I hope to prove to you, that if their Religion were true, our Religion would have been none at all, and consequently uncapable of being reform’d; from which I will draw other Consequences of great Importance, and this as briefly as may be, not to be tedious.

X. FIRST then, It is essential to a true Church of Christ, not to teach and pračice Idolatry : But the Roman Catholick Church, according to their Principles, teaches and practises Idolatry: This they not only grant, but preach in every Pulpit; we commit Idolatry in worshipping an Höft; Idolatry in the invocation of Saints; Idolatry in the worship of Images ; nay, this very Gentleman told you, that we gave divine Worship to a wooden Cross: Therefore the Roman Catholick Church is no true Church of Christ, nor was when they went from it.

XI. 2dly, I prove it out of the foresaid 19th Article of their own Church, thus, The visible Church of Christ is a Congregation of faithful Men, in the which the Sacraments be duly ministred according to Christ's Ordinance : But in the Roman Catholick Church, according to their Do&rine, the Sacraments are not duly ministred, &c. For they hold but two Sacraments; and of those two it's certain, that according to the Protestants, we do not minifter the Eucharift according to Christ's Ordinance: It remains then that according to that, we minister only Baptism duly, which is but one Sacrament, not Sacraments: Therefore We have not the due Ministration of Sacraments

in our Church, as their own Definition of a Church requires : Therefore the Roman Catholick Church is not (nor was when they left it) the visible (nor a vifible) Church of Chriji

. XII. 3dly, AGAIN, Out of the foresaid Article, The visible Church of Christ is a Congregation of faithful Men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, &c. But in the Roman Catholick Church, according to their Dodrine, the pure Word is not preachd, nor was when they left it. For pure is contrary to corrupt, and they teach, thar our DoEtrine is and was corrupt, and our Religion full of grofs and damable Errots ; nay, they give that for the Reason of their pretended Reformation : Therefore the Roman Catholick Church is not, nor was not when they went from it, the visible (nor a visible) Church of Christ

. XIIÍ. Thus I have proved, that according to their Principles, the Roman Catholick Church was not a Church of Christ, when they pretended to reform it: From whence it follows, ist, That no Protestant Church could reform it, no more than one can wash a Face that has no Being ; fo that they are not a reform'd Religion, but absolutely a new Religion, that is a falfe Religion : For 'it's evident that their Religion's new, if it was not reformed : But I have proved clearly, that it was not reformd: Therefore it's evident it is new : Therefore it's evident it is false,

XIV. It follows 2dly, That if the Roman Catholick Church was no Church of Christ, as I have proved it was not according to their Principles ; it Follows, I say, that the true Church of Christ abfolutely perish'd, and was quite destroy'd for many Hundred Years, from whence we may clearly fée the Protestant Religions to be all falfe, from the Truth of which would follow fo absurd and blaf


phemous a Doctrine, as that the Church of Christ was quite destroy'd.

XV. It follows 3dły, That the Roman Catholick Church is the true Church, for fome Church must be the true Church of Christ, and it can be none, to whom the Promises of indefe&tibility or perpetual Duration bave not been made good : But those Promises have not been made good to any but the Roman Catholick, and have evidently fail'd all Protestants for the space of 900 or jooo Years : Therefore the Roman Catholick Church is the true Church of Chrift.

XVI. To conclude, Sir, this their Pretence of afferting their Religion from the Imputation of Newness, and consequently of Falsity, by saying it is the same in Subftance with ours, is too vifibly falfe to impose upon any one that will open his Eyes. For they hold but two Sacraments, we hold feven; according to them we commit gross Idolatry, they horrible Impieties and Prophanations according to us : We follow the guidance of the Church, they their own ; which of the one fide is the source of many and important Errors. It would be too long to reckon up all the Differences between us, insomuch that it seems clear, that either their Religion or ours is a damnable Herefy; and whether foever it be, theirs is falfe. For if our Religion be a damnable Herefie, theirs is a new one, as I have proved ; and if theirs be a Herefie, it needs no Proof that it's false, and fo I conclude.

XVII. Thus, Sir, the Gentleman may see, that what I writ concern d the Indefe&tibility and not the Infallibility of the Church, which I never dream'd of, nor intended, as he is pleas'd to imagine. If he designs an Answer to any thing in this, I desire it may be direct and home to the Point; and if there


be any Word of uncertain Signification, let' itibe answered by distinguishing according to the Custom of fair and learned Adversaries, and not be fent back with a Number of new Queries to attend it, which is a Fashion newly invented by this Adversary.

XVIII. As to his many Questions concerning the Infallibility of the Church, we will answer them, when we have done with this; in the mean time, let any Impartial Man be our Judge, whether he or I are the less accurate. I that for a ground of one Query suppos'd a clear Truth, which he dare not deny: Or he, who for one Dispute, has propos'd fifteen or sixteen Points, and several of them of very different Natures, and enough to fill whole Volumes. As for Vincentius Lirinenfis, we are now actually examining one of his Rules set down in the very Place he cites, where Vincentius afferts those only to be Catholicks, who hold what has been believ'd every where, always, and by all. And I think I have sufficiently proved, that the Church of England has not been always. Let us try one Rule at once, which I'm sure those will never be against, who have a mind to speak closely to any one,

If the Gentleman should answer this in the same Stile he did the Query, I suppose you will know how to make a Difference betwixt big Words and great Arguments, betwixt ill Language and good Sense. I am,


Your most Humble Servant,

A. B.


Dr. Hickes's ANSWE R to the Reply

sent from the unknown Author by Mr. Gara--n.

С НА Р. І.

UPPOSING this for true, That the Church

of Christ can never perish, I desire to know (if the Protestant Church be the true one) where it was for many Hundreds of Tears before Luther? Name your Bishops, Writers, Churches, nay one fingle Congregation or Village of Protestants, for 900 or 1000 Years, before your Separation from the holy Catholick Church.

I. Sır, these are the Words of the Paper, which you called your query, as they were sent to me by Mr. G-----n in his Letter, in which are these Words. I here send you, as from him, the above written Query. I thought it convenient for several Reasons, one of which is my own Justification, to transcribe it in the head of this Answer to your Reply; in which, Sir, you charge me in your VII Paragraph with a voluntary Mistake, in changing the Words Roman Catholick Church into holy Catholick Church. For if I was pleased, as you speak, to make that Mistake, it was a voluntary and inexcusable Mistake; but it was not my Mistake, but Mr. G-----n's, as I can shew from his Letter, and as he himself acknowledged to me; nor had I any Temptation wilfully to mistake the Words. For in your Challenge, name your Bishops, &c. for çoo of 1000 Tears before your Separation from the


« PreviousContinue »